I really liked the idea of students being in charge of their own small groups, so I gave them large pieces of butcher paper, set guide lines and let them run with it.
We've worked a lot on keeping track of characters, so that was their first focus:
Since some groups were in the middle of novels, they didn't want to change the way they took notes until their next book switch (makes sense to me!). We've spent a lot of time developing the "left side" of our brains by making lots of charts, changing colors each time and being systematically analytical.
However, just because I'm type A doesn't mean all my students are. So I embraced the creative idea as well and modeled a less structured way of keeping track of the way a character changes over time.
They really liked this strategy so I think I'll keep allowing them the choice of how they want to organize their notes. After all, my ultimate goals are to make them life-long avid readers and empower them to take ownership over their learning. It truly doesn't matter how they take notes and respond to the literature, I just care that they're able to comprehend what they read, discuss the big ideas and be critical thinkers.